Last week politicians in Oregon announced their plans to ban companies from firing workers for using legal marijuana. And it appears the state of Massachusetts will be joining them in that effort.
A Massachusetts Democrat has introduced a bill that would treat marijuana like alcohol in the workplace. The bill would allow companies to punish a worker if they show up to their job impaired, but would prevent them from taking any action against workers for their off-the-clock cannabis use. Companies with contracts from the federal government would be exempt from this bill, since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level.
Many people have criticized states for legalizing marijuana without providing protections for users. What's the point of allowing people to use marijuana if they can still lose their jobs for using it? And while some states have passed laws banning companies from testing workers for marijuana, these are in the vast minority, even among legal states. And it's particularly an issue in medical marijuana states, where patients are sometimes forced to choose between keeping their jobs or using cannabis to treat their legitimate medical needs.
But similar to how many legal marijuana states did not initially include efforts to expunge old marijuana convictions, but now they have set up those systems after-the-fact, perhaps the efforts in Oregon and Massachusetts will likewise start a chain reaction of other states providing protections for workers who use marijuana.
(h/t CBS 4)